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General news and features

OH NO! More snow this winter say predictions

Georgia’s winter weather outlook shows chance of colder weather and heavier precipitation than previous years

cove road snow

 Cove Road from last winter. If predictions are right, we'll be seeing even more snow this winter. Georgia's yearly average snow amounts have risen from 2 inches to 3.4 inches in recent years.

Right whales return to Georgia coast


Photo from Georgia DNR   

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Dec. 16, 2014) – The season’s first sighting of North Atlantic right whales on the Georgia coast underscores the fact that Georgia and north Florida are the only known calving grounds for these endangered whales.

     A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission survey plane spotted a right whale mother and her new calf 16 miles off Cumberland Island Saturday. The mom, cataloged as right whale  number 2145, is 24 years old and has been documented with five calves, the previous one in 2009.

Each winter, pregnant right whales and small numbers of non-breeding whales swim more than 1,000 miles from their feeding grounds off Canada and New England to the warmer waters of Georgia and northeastern Florida. Here, from late November through March, they give birth and nurse their young.

The Hoyles inducted into country music hall of fame

 Jasper’s finance officer talks about four decades of bluegrass 


 The Hoyles after being inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. Pictured are (l to r) Al Hoyle, Eddie Hoyle, Lisa Hoyle, 

Cindy Musselwhite and Atlanta County Music Hall of Fame founder Pyllis A. Cole.


By day Jasper’s Chief Finance Officer Lisa Hoyle stays busy crunching numbers, but for the last four decades Hoyle and her family have picked and plucked their way around the southeast as The Hoyles, an Ellijay-based bluegrass band that recently joined the ranks of other performers and songwriters in the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.    

Ellijay man hits big on lottery - for third time

 $1 million win follows previous $100K, $150K wins


ATLANTA – A third Georgia Lottery win is lighting up the holiday season for an Ellijay man who, most recently, has won a $1 million prize. James Griffies, 56, played the instant game 50X The Money to win his top prize.
The $1 million windfall is Griffies’ second this year, having first won $150,000 playing Fantasy 5 in May. He also won $100,000 in 2005 playing another Georgia Lottery instant game.

Children here mostly fare well but neglect & abuse still high

child abuse chart

From Pickens County Quality of Life for Children and Families -- See full Family Connections report

Children and families in Pickens County fare much better with education and finances than the average family in Georgia, but also see a higher ratio of child abuse and child neglect here as compared to the state, based on discussion at the Pickens Family Connections collaborative meeting December 10th.

At their year-end gathering, speakers from the courts, schools and social service groups presented figures on the problems here as part of the “Pickens County Quality of Life for Children and Families” report.